The police on Thursday issued an apology for causing “unintended trouble” amid mounting criticism over an open letter to Aidre Mattner, an Australian who had taken issue with its misconduct and slipshod investigation in a rape case.
Yongsan Police Station published a post on its Facebook page in both Korean and English at around 2 p.m., expressing regret over the “unintended troubles” caused by its public letter.
“We do apologize the fact that we caused some unintended troubles resulted from our answers on Facebook post on April 1, 2016, which was solely intended to solve misunderstandings of our investigation on the case,” said the post in English.
The apology was made six days after the police came under fire for sending an open letter addressed to Mattner on April 1. The police said that they had posted the letter to “straighten misinformation” and refute Mattner’s statements.
The open letter sparked fury on the Internet, with scores of commenters slamming the police for revealing Mattner’s personal information and making defamatory remarks.
The Yongsan police deleted the public letter earlier in the day.
Mattner’s case came into the spotlight after she began to raise funds on the GoFundMe page in March to pursue separate investigation in England.
Mattner, who visited Korea last year, said she was drugged, abducted and raped in Seoul. She accused police of failing to collect evidence and inform her of the investigation process.
Netizens left comments after the police posted the apology, with many of them lamenting that police did not directly apologize the victim.
A comment by Choi Ji-yeon said, “I hope you have read all of the comments on the deleted ‘open letter’ and realized what was really wrong with how you handled the situation.”
Another individual Linda Vwj said in a comment, “You are just sorry that your post resulted in unfavorable responses. You further damaged a victim and tried to censor people’s comments who protested at your unprofessionalism.”
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org)